Looking Backward, Looking Forward

The New Year is nearly here. 2014!! Everything is possible with enough elbow grease and wine. Right? Well, almost. 2013 was one of the best years I ever had. Seriously. One of the best for a gazillion reasons from family life to work life to personal writing life. 2013 was not without struggle, mind you, but it came with triumph on many sides. There is, however, a reason for this--a very specific, detailed, exacting reason for this. And here it is:

So We Press On

I've been both exhausted and revived by writing lately. Luckily, the stories that are coming from this work will hopefully, one day, be a source of total enjoyment for others. Not only am I in deep with edits on The Unruly (sequel to The Flame Wars), but also I'm plotting the third book in the trilogy and two other books entirely (shh, these are secret books you know nothing about). All of this creative energy gets very muddy sometimes since my eagerness is bigger than the amount of time I can spend on these things. I literally have four different notebooks going right now to catch any ideas I have for each of these tales as they come.

I think about my characters always. In the shower, in the car, at work (sorry, Terry), and even when I'm playing games with the kiddo. I can't not think about them. This mental work tires me, and yet, I can't have it any other way. If I back off to "get a break" it's as though a jar of marbles just smashed on the floor and I spend the next "writing day" trying to find all the loose pieces to recover ground.

I can't say I have a writing process as much as a writing lifestyle. Finding the magic, losing the magic, refinding the magic. It happens in cycles, but they are familiar cycles. (There is no angelic muse on my shoulder, mind you. Just me.)

And then there are times when I get discouraged.

Times when confidence flutters in the breeze because it's not anchored to anything. Times when I don't feel appreciated, or times when I do but I don't believe what people are telling me. And there are times when, for no good reason, I just don't know that anyone cares about my work--the hours spent writing that they don't see. (That is the biggest issue with the writing profession, I believe.) And times when depression creeps in and all my characters whom I spend every day with go silent.

" . . . "

In those days/weeks, there's this other thing I try to remember. My [good] warlocks' motto is, "We press on." I think that's key in anything you do whether it's writing, art, relationships, horrible-awful-no-good days, parenting, having a career, anything. We must press on. Always. Push yourself to be better than you are today in whatever measure of progress you need. The world will wait for you simply because that's what it was made for--you. Then you go and make it what you need it to be. Press on.